Climate Corner: Four ways to celebrate Earth Month
Posted on 04/01/2024

Climate Corner: Four ways to celebrate Earth Month

Climate Fellow Alyssa Romea shares four local events celebrating our planet this April
Published April 1, 2024


A young woman with long brown hair stands in front of a green wall, smiling

As we enter Earth Month 2024, there is much to grieve and much to celebrate.

On one hand, our planet just experienced its warmest February on record. This was our ninth month in a row with a record-breaking temperature worldwide.

On the other hand, we are making unprecedented progress in the long journey away from greenhouse gases. Last year, solar made up most of the United States’ added grid capacity — the first time a renewable energy source did so since World War II. We don’t have to go far to see the shift; Piedmont alone has hundreds of properties with finished solar projects.

The origins of Earth Month can be traced here to California, when Santa Barbara experienced what was at the time the biggest oil spill in US history in 1969. As the nation watched oil spread over 35 miles and dead animals wash in with the tide, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson was inspired to take action.

Drawing inspiration from student-led anti-war protests, he began planning a nationwide teach-in on college campuses for spring 1970. April 22 – the day we still celebrate as Earth Day – was selected to maximize student participation. Over 20 million Americans took part.

American environmental consciousness had already been growing due to events such as the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. However, this first Earth Day unified fragmented efforts. Throughout the next few years, the United States would not only create the Environmental Protection Agency, but also pass landmark legislation such as the Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act.

This year, I invite everyone to celebrate Earth Month by attending one of these local events:

  1. Earth Day at the Chabot Space and Science Center: April 21, 10am-4pm: This family-friendly event showcases the many ways local organizations are tackling climate change right here in the Bay, with hands-on activities, guest speakers, and more. Highlights include a field diary hike with Chabot educators, climate storytelling workshops, pollinator-friendly crafts, and an eco trivia gameshow. Get tickets at chabotspace.org/calendar/earth-day-event/.

  2. Redwood Regional Park Restoration, April 20, 9am-12pm: Join the East Bay Regional Park District in removing invasive plants at Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. Volunteers will need to bring warm layers and a water bottle. Sign up at ebrpd.samaritan.com/custom/501/opp_details/9282.

  3. Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tours, May 4-5, 10am-5pm: Tour native gardens across the East Bay your leisure. Homes will be scattered throughout the Bay, with Saturday tours featuring nearby gardens in Oakland, Berkeley, and other bayside cities – including Piedmonter Valerie Matzger’s home. Sunday tours will highlight inland gardens from Lafayette to Livermore. Bringing Back the Natives is also hosting virtual tours on April 6 and 7. For details, see bringingbackthenatives.net.

  4. Piedmont Arbor Day and Earth Day Celebration, April 26,  3-6pm at Community Hall: Piedmont’s longstanding Arbor Day celebration is expanding this year to reflect the City’s commitment to sustainability and stewardship in our parks. Under the theme of “Wildlife in our Parks,” the event will highlight the diversity of species supported by Piedmont’s rich urban forest and feature a meet-and-greet with a live raptor from the Lindsay Wildfire Center.

Finally, East Bay Green Home Tour is looking for Piedmont homes to feature! They present free, virtual tours of homes that are combatting climate change, improving air quality, and generating clean energy. To view tours or suggest a home, visit eastbaygreenhome.com.

Alyssa Romea is an AmeriCorps Fellow with the City of Piedmont’s Sustainability Division. For questions, email [email protected].